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Thread: Too Radical? 500 calorie diet

  1. #1

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    Default Too Radical? 500 calorie diet

    So I've been tossing around an idea for a while and I have done heaps of research into it. At the moment I am on 1200 calories a day and have been for the past month. Initially I didn't have an appetite so it was easy to maintain. Since my appetite came back I have learned to deal with the pangs of hunger and push through them. My 1200 calories consists of healthy, fresh food and I drink about 2L a day. I also exercise for an hour every day too.

    For the next fortnight I want to drop my calorie intake down to 500.

    I haven't seen any results for the past 2 weeks and I want to step it up. I would love to lose 5kgs FAST and then slowly move the last 5kg over a longer period.



    A typical day on the 500 cal diet would be this...

    Breakfast: Cereal with light milk
    Snack: Pear/Apple/Grapes
    Lunch: Green Salad and Yogurt
    Dinner: Grilled Fish with steamed veggies

    That combined with 2L of water and my regular multi vitamin. The only difference between this and what I am doing now is the portions would be smaller.

    Would you do it? Have you done it?

  2. #2

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    Honestly no way. You should read some articles about carrot stick diets (as they are called) when you take away nearly next to all fats your body goes into storage mode, so when you aren't eating this way your metabolism is setup in such a way that it regains at double and in some people triple speed. It might be nice to lose that 5kgs quickly but do you want to put it all back on again even faster (and possibly more to boot?)

  3. #3

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    I was only on 500 calories or so in the two weeks after my surgery. The main thing that seems to happens when you're intaking calories at such a low level is that you lose energy, you start to burn not only fat but muscle (as your body goes into starvation mode), so your metabolism slows and when you move on to a higher caloric intake, you plateau for ages while your body hangs on to everything you eat. During that time, I also looked grey (as in no colour in my cheeks) and my skin was pretty awful too.

    The best way to make sure you lose more is to burn more calories via exercise, instead of starving your body of calories. Even with the band, I try to get in at least 1200 calories a day in order to continue losing weight. If I get too much under that, I start to plateau as my metabolism slows (which is counter-productivein the long run).

    If you're exercising 4-5 times a week at a rate where you're raising a pretty good sweat and are out of breath, and you're eating 1200 calories a day and still not losing, it's likely your body is at its set point and it will take a drastic change like far more intense exercise to get you past that. And then to keep it off, you'll have to maintain that level of exercise from here on in.

  4. #4

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    Amy honey, I wouldn't recommend that to anyone!!!

    A better way to get around it, is to give you metabolism a bit of a kickstart - so for one day drop it down to around 1000 calories, then the next day 1200, and so your metabolism goes heyyyy whats going on here... but its still in conjunction with enough calories so your body doesn't go into starvation mode.

    Thats what I'm doing anyway

  5. #5

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    The best (and healthiest) way to lose weight hun is to do it slow - around 0.5 to 1kg a week. Your body wouldn't be able to cope with that few calories and exercise as well - you will have no energy and ultimately instead of being healthier, your health could suffer. I personally don't believe in any diet or eating plan that makes you feel hungry - hunger is a sign of a genuine physiological need - your body wants you to eat. You just have to choose the right food, which is where we all at some time or other end up going wrong (hence the need to lose weight).

  6. #6

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    Yeah, I've done it.

    I was suffering with anorexia at the time.

  7. #7

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    I agree with not dropping your calories so much, but when I was seeing a PT, he used to swear by having a shot of espresso before doing a training session, to get your body going, and eating spicy food as well... Not sure if this is true, but I did it....

    Maybe you also need to look at your exercise and as well as the cardio, add in some toning work, to help with changing your body shape too.

  8. #8

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    I thought it sounded a bit drastic! I'm just so frustrated that I'm only eating 1200 calories, exercising EVERY day and not seeing a loss. Maybe 1000 calories would be better then, and also stepping up my exercise routine. I have just started jogging (I finally feel "fit" enough to do it) and I plan on adding in more light weights this week. I already do 60-100 squats, lunges and sit ups 3 times a week and I will now step that up to every day too.

    I just want to keep losing!! I feel so close but still so far away.

  9. #9

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    I wouldn't do it because 1 it's not sustainable and 2 you will stack it all back on (and then some) when you go back to a regular eating plan. I would be preferring to stick with what you're doing now, but really ramp up the exercise if you find that you've plataeued - it's a common thing to have happen a few weeks into a diet/healthy eating plan and you need to challenge your body to keep burning the fat off without losing vatal muscle tone etc.

  10. #10

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    I also forgot to say that even though you wont get there quicker by doing it sensibly, you are more likely to keep it all off if you take a bit longer to get there.

  11. #11

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    Hmmm I agree that cutting your calories so low will do nothing good for your metabolism.
    Sometimes it can take your body a while to show the changes, especially if you are exercising - as you may be gaining more muscle whilst you lose fat. Have you been taking measurements? Have these changed in the past 2 weeks?
    Best way to get your metabolism kicking is exercise!!! I have managed to lose 10kg over 3.5 months by exercising, 5 days a week, an hour a day (sometimes a bit more, sometimes less)... I have been watching my food a bit, but I'm sure my intake is still well over 1200 calories (still BF though).
    Try and mix up the exercise a bit... take long fast walks, with stretches of jogging or sprinting. Do you have a bike you could ride? Go swimming?

  12. #12

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    If you are doing that much exercise already (and you have only a small overall body weight left to lose) you may find the plateau is from muscle mass gain rather than a true lack of fat loss. I hate the BMI for that reason. It is demoralising when you are, in fact, losing body fat and centimeters but not *on the scales* weight.

    Maintain the caloric intake. Measure portion sizes to ensure you aren't accidentally getting more calories than you think. Take your measurements and go by how your clothes fit. Ignore the scales for 2 weeks and keep going as you have. Then see what has happened

    As everyone has said, the short term gain (or loss ) can leave you getting an extra fat deposit when you start eating a normal calorie intake again. Not worth destroying all the positive effort you are currently putting in.

  13. #13

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    I've done the 500 calorie thing. I was taking in 1200 cal's a day but doing an rpm (spin) class and that knocked me down to 500cals.

    Just eating 500cals a day is not good for you hun! Up your calories for your own health and maybe up the exercise.

    The main thing is to look after your health and as long as you eat right and do exercise you will drop the weight in no time!

  14. #14
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    I was on a 900 calorie per day diet about 22years ago (when i was 21) ... i went from 66 to 50kilo's in 7weeks (lost 16kilo's)... just ridiculous & to think that was through the help of a weight lose centre that had just started up it's business ...

    It got to the point that i felt i wasn't eating hardly anything and strangely enough i lost my appetite for food and began even eating less to the point i was losing 3kilo's per week in the last fortnight on the program ... just insane ... luckily one of the consultants picked up on this

    Anyway, the outcome was i put ALL the weight back on in about 2mths plus more

    I never went down that road again ... as i could see i was getting use to not really eating ... very dangerous ... So, I say 500calories NO WAY !!!

  15. #15

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    Judging by your ticker amysarah, it looks like you're doing GREAT!

    I realy do think that the key is to do stuff that's sustainable. I know for me it took ages to lose 2kg because I wasn't willing to do anything drastic but to just make changes that I was willing to make for the rest of my life. So mainly cutting down on the booze and having smaller portions. I know when I do that the weight comes off so if, as has happened in the last couple of weeks, I have a blip because DP went and bought about 10 bottles of wine, I don't beat myself up about it too much because I know why I've put weight back on and I also know that I can get it off again.

    As I said before, you're doing really, really great and I say just carry on what you're doing. No need for the faddy stuff, just do what you can stick with forever.

  16. #16

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    You need ALOT more calcium in your diet than that too.... just a bowl of light milk really isn't enough for a day for a woman IMO. Gotta keep your bones strong hun! Especially ready for PG.

    Yep I agree.... aim for 0.5kg a week. That's what I'll be doing when bubs arrives.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle71 View Post
    If you are doing that much exercise already... you may find the plateau is from muscle mass gain rather than a true lack of fat loss
    :yeahthat: Are you going purely by the scales or are you also taking measurements or seeing how your clothes fit? The scales are sometimes not your best friend if you've changed diet and are doing regular exercise. Muscle weighs more than fat. Simple. With that amount of exercise you are sure to be losing fat %. Great work!

  18. #18

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    I think you're all right - I was just a bit down yesterday about not losing anything AGAIN.

    I know the healthiest option is to maintain my current healthy eating and step up the exercise. I KNOW I have lost cm's - but I haven't been measuring. I just feel thinner kwim?

    I just feel SO close - it's only 10kgs - but still so far away. I am putting in SO much work and exercising EVERY day and to not see any results is disapointing. I guess I'll just keep at it and hope this plateau is over and I will start seeing losses again.

    Thank you all for your supportive advice - I can see this kind of thing being a touchy subject for some and I didn't in anyway mean to offend (with regards to anorexia). That was not at all how I intended it - I had just been doing some reading about this diet and thought I would put it out there. I didn't post with the frame of mind of "I can't eat anymore if I want to lose weight" it was more that I wanted to know if it was achievable to eat so little but maintain the same level of exercise - clearly it's not and clearly it is NOT healthy.

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